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‘The Naked Gun’ Returns With Ed Helms in the Lead

The Naked Gun Ed Helms
Paramount/Warner Bros.

Ed Helms is slowly but surely turning into the face of rebooted films from the ’80s. The ‘Hangover’ star has already signed up to lead a new reboot of ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation,’ and now he’s decided to step into the shoes of the late Leslie Nielsen to headline a ‘Naked Gun’ reboot for Paramount.

As Nielsen remarked in the original ‘Naked Gun,’ “it’s like eating a spoonful of Drano; sure, it’ll clean you out, but it’ll leave you hollow inside.” Of course, he was referring to cops getting involved with women, but the intense imagery applies here, as well.

Variety reports that Helms will assume the role of Detective Frank Drebin for Paramount Studios, and writers Thomas Lennon and R. Ben Garant (‘Night at the Museum,’ ‘Reno 911!’) are scripting a new spin on the character.

As first impressions go, Helms does not have the ability to revitalize such a character as Frank Drebin, even perhaps if he’ll be a more revamped version than what Nielsen established. No further details on the project are available as of yet, but simply based on Helms’ previous work, it seems doubtful he can encompass all this character was about.

‘The Naked Gun’ film series based themselves on a failed spoof TV series that ran for six episodes on ABC in 1982 before getting the axe. The three films — ‘The Naked Gun: From the Files of the Police Squad,’ ‘The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear’ and ‘Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult’ — acquired millions in box-office revenue thanks in part to Nielsen’s deadpan comedic stylings, which also made the actor’s Dr. Rumack role in ‘Airplane!’ a hit. Nielsen sadly passed away in 2010 after complications with pneumonia.

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